Today, broadcast air waves across radio and television stations in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will be commemorating the 2012 International Children’s Day Of Broadcasting, (ICBD) under the theme, “Voicing unheard young voices.”
“Ideally, on this occasion, all broadcast media houses across the country, all shows would be written, produced and hosted strictly by children,” said Lillian Tjezuva, the Communication Assistant at UNICEF Botswana.
Previously, the industry designed and hosted by elders was centred around more urban areas whilst this time children from as far and deep as Matshegaletau, Mogorosi and Shandong will also be awarded an opportunity to partake in this event.
“There is commendable effort towards engaging children in programming by most broadcasters in Botswana,” said UNICEF representative Dr Doreen Mulenga. “However, there is still room for engaging more children, especially those silenced by geography, and location of residence, or lack of permanent residence.”
Through this initiative and proximity, UNICEF will be according these disadvantaged children an opportunity to air their opinions regarding their life’s experiences.
Tjezuva also indicated that part of their core mandate at the UNICEF is to use different platforms to put the children’s rights out there.
“It is rooted in the convention of the right of the children,” she said, further stating that each country brings out this convention in a local context as in Botswana the guideline is the Children’s Act of 2009, which clearly was developed to “make provision for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child; for the promotion of the physical, emotional, intellectual and social development and general well-being of children; for the protection and care of children; for the establishment of structures to provide for the care, support, protection and rehabilitation of children; and for matters connected therewith”.
The ICDB was launched in 1991 and has since grown from strength to strength and, until 2009, it was commemorated every first Sunday of December and now it has since been moved to the first Sunday of March since 2009.
Broadcasters were roped in to help create awareness for children’s issues among children across the country through a medium that could break many barriers.